annual conference

Myths of Annual Conference: Relationships

I want to build on the myth of avoiding relationship in the Annual Conference because of a potential supervisory role in the future. I have heard it said that it is not possible to form deep relationships with other members of the annual conference.

This is untrue and damages the connection.

I reassert that it is crucial to share my life with colleagues in ministry because the community of the annual conference is one of the most important, perhaps the most important, community of which I am a part as a United Methodist pastor. I have found that the relationships that I have built with other clergy are important for my own soul and for my leadership in ministry. Does it take effort? Absolutely. It is important and worth it. Not being able to form real relationships is a myth of the annual conference.

By Andrew Conard

Christian, husband, son, brother, homeowner

3 replies on “Myths of Annual Conference: Relationships”

I am a layperson in the GNJAC, but I am seminary-educated and started the ordination process once (I withdrew as I realized my calling to lay leadership.) Not once have I heard any of my pastors or colleagues say to not forge deep relationships with fellow members of the Annual Conference. In fact, a pastor once told me that it is essential to have relationships in the Annual Conference because “they are your family.” They are the ones who know how hard it is to lead worship while a family member is in the hospital. They are the ones who understand the frustration of a Church Conference in September when you’re financial secretary has been on holiday for the month of August. They laugh with you when you have several donkeys, sheep and camels for the Christmas pageant, but also a frog and a butterfly. And when someone beloved to you leaves this place to walk with Jesus, they are the ones who gather round you to comfort you. You love them, learn from them, confide in them, and are strengthened by them. And if they come to be in a supervisory role, we trust that their faith will lead them to shepherd you, not in spite of, but because of, everything they know of you.

Regina – I am glad that you have been encouraged to form deep relationships. I have not found this overly frequently, but have found it to be expressed. You articulate the opportunities here well.

Gavin – Sweet.

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